Stompiesfontein farm murder: State ordered to hand over witness statements

2019-08-07 15:51
Garry Wiblin and his co-accused Dennis Grose who is also his fiancé’s father stand in the Delmas Regional Court dock. They are accused of killing a man on a farm before throwing his body over a bridge. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Garry Wiblin and his co-accused Dennis Grose who is also his fiancé’s father stand in the Delmas Regional Court dock. They are accused of killing a man on a farm before throwing his body over a bridge. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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The State has been ordered to hand over all witness statements implicating two men in the murder of Doctor Masilela on Stompiesfontein farm, Mpumalanga, in June. 

The Delmas Regional Court made this order on Wednesday morning following an application by the defence for the accused, Mike van As. 

Van As brought the application after the State denied a request for further particulars contained in the case docket. 

The defence had asked for the cellphone records and witness statements used by the State in the bail application of Garry Wiblin and his co-accused Dennis Grose. 

"[The State] is using cellphone records to try [to] attack and destroy my clients’ credibility," Van As told the court. 

ALSO READ: State pokes holes into Stompiesfontein farm murder accused's testimonies

Advocate Themba Lusenga, for the State, opposed the application, citing that the requested information could not be given to the defence, as the investigation was still at a sensitive stage. 

He added that Wiblin and Grose could not be trusted, as they were accused of interfering with the crime scene and even trying to create another crime scene by moving Masilela's body. 

Citing different case law, Magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli found in favour of the defence and ordered that all cellphone records and witness statements be handed over to Van As to allow him to properly prepare for the rest of the bail application. 

The matter was postponed for lunch. 

Previously News24 reported that Wiblin and Grose - who is Wiblin's fiancé's father - had both denied killing Masilela on June 17. 

Shot and dumped under bridge

The pair, who are part of the Rural Safety Corps that works with the local community policing forum, were called out to the farm, where people were allegedly stealing beans and mielies. 

Wiblin testified that a man named Andre Strauss had called him and told him to bring his thermal imaging camera, which can detect heat signals at night. 

When he arrived, he found Masilela on the back of a bakkie. He claimed Masilela was later beaten by Dawie Lecordeur who manages the farm.

Wiblin alleged that Lecordeur, Strauss and another farmer had entered the field and found another man.

During this time, Wiblin claimed, Masilela had run away. However, the State contended that Wiblin had shot Masilela between the eyes before his body was dumped under a bridge. 

News24 previously reported that Lecordeur had turned State witness and that the charges against him had been dropped.

It was reported that Lecordeur had admitted to knocking down Masilela with a bakkie. 

Wiblin and Grose are facing charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, violation of a corpse, and defeating the ends of justice.

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Read more on:    mbombela  |  courts  |  crime
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